Influence of individual factors on rise of women to top management: a case study of the Kenyan insurance industry
Wakiria, Rose Wanjiru
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In spite of women forming a significant proportion of management, only a few progress to top management positions comp1ising of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position and direct reports to CEO, popularly referred to as the C-Suite. The purpose of this study was to determine influence of individual competency factors, individual attitude factors and work life balance factors on women's career progression to top management positions in Kenya's Insurance Companies. The study adopted a descriptive survey design to collect data from all women in management positions below the C-Suite level in Insurance companies. Men were excluded from this study because the researcher was interested in women's perceptions, which differ from those of men as far as women career progression to top management positions is concerned. Data was collected using an internet-based questionnaire. Data was analyzed using desc1iptjve statistics and inferential statistics involving cross tabulation and logistic regression analysis. The findings of the study uphold the perception that individual factors do affect women career progression to top management positions. Shortage of women role models had the highest ability to negatively inf1uence women career progression to C-Suite positions by deterring them from aspiring for those positions. In addition, family responsibilities had the effect of slowing down women's career growth to top management positions while lack of support from a career spouse did not have a significant effect on their career progression. The study recommends that companies should create gender-neutral working environments that provide what is important to women. Areas for further research include a study of underlying factors for the divergent perceptions of influence of individual factors on women's careers as they progressed to top management.